Yesterday, Disney World amended its policies concerning Annual Passholder memberships which you can read more about here.
And while we’re super-relieved Disney is finally cutting APs some breaks in light of the parks being closed until further notice, some of the updated wording can be a little tricky to understand!
Annual Passholder Options BEFORE They Changed
Prior to March 27th, Disney had announced all active Walt Disney World Annual Passes would be automatically extended for however many days the parks stayed closed. Passes that would have expired during the closure were also going to receive an extension of time for renewal.
And until recently, APs who were making monthly payments were required to keep on making payments. Once payments were finished, Disney would automatically extend Annual Passes for however many days were missed.
That was the OLD WAY! Here are the new and improved policies Disney World just rolled out!
NEW Annual Passholder Options for Fully Paid Memberships
Automatic Extension OR Partial Reimbursement
Now, instead of only automatically extending Annual Passes for members who have already paid in advance for them, they’re ALSO offering partial refunds.
Say you live out of state and don’t think you’ll be able to make it down to Florida anytime soon — you can now choose to cancel your AP membership and the cost will be pro-rated for the remaining time on your pass.
This new second option is now available to any and all eligible Annual Passholders who have paid in full for their memberships, regardless of whether or not you reside inside or outside of Florida.
NEW Annual Passholder Options for Monthly Payment Plan Memberships
Waiving Monthly Payments
APs who are on monthly payment plans now have the choice of waiving their payments effective April 5th. You WILL still have to resume payments once the parks reopen, but for now, Disney World is no longer requiring that payments be made.
If you make the decision to waive paying your monthly installments, Disney World will not extend the expiration of your Annual Pass and it will expire on its original date.
In addition to waiving all payments until the parks reopen, any payments you’ve recently made between March 14th and April 4th will be automatically refunded.
Postponing Monthly Payments
Not to be confused with “waiving,” Disney World is also offering AP members the option of delaying their monthly payments. If you select this option, your Annual Passes WILL be automatically extended.
Once the parks reopen, you’ll have to resume making your monthly payments on the regular payment schedule and any postponed payments will be required in the months after what would have been your Annual Pass’ original expiration date.
Disney hasn’t released information yet on how Annual Passholders can postpone their monthly payments but said information should be released soon.
Use this time to carefully weigh your options and decide if waiving or postponing your monthly payments makes the most sense logistically and financially for your family. We’ll let you know as soon as Disney World provides the next steps for how APs can best proceed should you wish to defer payments.
Answering YOUR Questions About The New Annual Passholder Policies
Our readers have a LOT of questions and confusion about this subject, so we’re addressing a few specific questions we’re receiving here. Feel free to send your questions, and we’ll keep updating this post with answers!
“This extended our renewal date a couple weeks. But our last payment was in February so obviously not looking for a refund. Not sure if we need to renew now or wait until they reopen?”
If you’re on the fence about whether or not you should renew any Annual Passes that will be expiring during Disney World’s temporary closure, it’s really a matter of preference.
Maybe you’re used to the payment schedule you’re currently on but you might want to use that money you would have used towards your monthly payment for something else in the meantime. It certainly wouldn’t hurt anything to wait until the parks reopen to renew your AP membership, but ultimately, the decision is yours to make based on your own unique circumstances.
What’s the difference between extending and renewing? “I interpreted it as if they suspend payments there is no extension but if you postpone payments you will have the extension.”
The difference between extending and renewing is ultimately the difference between “waiving monthly payments and postponing monthly payments.”
If you choose to waive your monthly payments, your AP membership will not be extended because you won’t be responsible for making any additional payments after your Annual Pass has expired.
If you postpone making monthly payments, your Annual Pass will be extended for however many days the parks are closed AND you will need to make up for the payments that you missed (i.e. the payments you deferred during Disney World’s temporary closure).
Each of these options is monetarily equal in value. Waivers don’t get their passes extended because that would require them to make up for any of the payments they’d missed. Postponers will have more time added to their passes because they’re paying for them to be extended.
Should I get a refund or an extension?
This is entirely up to you guys and how comfortable you’re feeling about returning to the parks right away once they reopen. Your Annual Passes will only be extended for however many days the parks are closed, and at this time, we don’t know when they’ll reopen or what the crowds will be like when they do.
In addition to not knowing if parks will be flooded with people right away, think about if you’ll be comfortable flying on a plane if you live out of state. It seems many people are excited to get to Disney World when it reopens, but there are also many people who want to proceed with more caution. Depending on how you feel regarding this matter might influence your decision to extend or seek a partial refund.
Are we getting our Flower and Garden Festival magnets?
The answer to this burning question is: hopefully. Since Epcot’s 2020 Flower and Garden Festival had just started on March 4th and the parks closed March 16th, there’s probably plenty of AP magnets and Flower and Garden merch still lying around!
We reached out to Disney and they informed us that the team has not received information on the magnets at this time. We’ll let you know as soon as Disney makes an official statement.
Who to Contact At Disney World About Your AP Membership
We understand there may still be a lot of questions based on when your AP passes expired or will expire. You can reach out to V.I.Passholder Support at (407) 939-7277.
There is an overwhelming number of calls coming in right now, so you might want to give it a few days, if you can. There’s no rush to clear all of this stuff up right away and it might be best to give yourself some time to make this big decision!
Please continue to reach out to us with any questions or concerns you may have so we can keep addressing them! We will continue to update this post with more questions and answers.